BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – CAPITAL CITY PRESS
Livingston hope to have moved a step closer to having their transfer embargo lifted after Gordon Ford became the club’s single biggest shareholder.
Former West Lothian Council deputy chief executive Ford OBE is now in control of a 40 per cent stake, with ex-Lions chief executive Ged Nixon, Neil Hogarth and Graham Leslie each in possession of 20 per cent.
Neil Rankine, who had held a 50 per cent shareholding, had been ordered to dispose of his stake in either Livingston or East Fife after being found guilty of breaking Scottish FA dual ownership regulations.
The SFA meted out transfer sanctions, which also prohibited player/manager Mark Burchill from re-signing any of the current squad, and a £10,000 fine at the start of April.
However, the troubled West Lothian outfit now hope that Ford’s involvement in the club will convince Hampden officials that Rankine is no longer connected to Livingston.
Speaking at the start of the week, Burchill lamented the off-field problems, with only three players signed up for next season ahead of their return to training on June 22.
He said: “It’s a frustrating situation, I want to get my team assembled for the first day of pre-season but it’s getting so close that it’s going to be difficult to get that done.
“The season is getting close now, we’re back on the 22nd of June so it’s getting to a crucial stage.”